Archived Story

No cause yet of fire that levels potato warehouse in Perham

Published 2:09pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

A warehouse at a potato farm near Perham caught fire Tuesday afternoon, according to a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.

Employees of R.D. Offutt Farms of Perham noticed smoke coming from a potato warehouse on the farm located on County Hwy. 80 just before 4:30 p.m.

Heavy smoke was seen coming from the 200-foot-by-300-foot warehouse when Perham firefighters arrived.

An unknown amount of potatoes and other unknown contents were inside the building at the time.

The fire burned all night, consuming the building and its contents, according to a report in the Fargo Forum.

The building was a total loss, along with “potatoes and other miscellaneous equipment used in the loadout process,” according to a news release from the R.D. Offutt Co.

No employees were injured in the blaze, according to the company news release.

About 130 firefighters from 20 fire departments were on the scene to fight the fire, according to Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt.

All 17 departments in Otter Tail County responded.

Crews were on the scene until about 10 a.m. Wednesday, once the fire was contained.

A total of 610,000 gallons of water were used to fight the fire, not including the water used from Perham city wells.

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.

The state fire marshal was expected to arrive at the scene Wednesday to investigate.

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